These molds then feed on this honeydew substance, making a black film over the foliage and stem. It doesn’t attack plants directly. Sooty mold, as its name implies, is a dark soot like covering on the leaves and stems of a plant. Keeping these problems with gardenias in check requires constant diligence. Karuka is affected by sooty mold caused by Meliola juttingii. Sooty mold on a gardenia leaf. “The leaves are black. Sooty Mold: White flies indirectly cause infestation of sooty molds by leaving a honeydew-like substance wherever they feed on the gardenia plants. The fungi causing sooty mold are known to occur on citrus, oleander, gardenia, fig, crapemyrtle, azaleas, pittosporum and many other ornamental bushes and trees. Good air circulation (about 10 cm minimum of clearance) around all sides of the plants helped too. Understanding how a problem starts can save time and effort in trying to control it. If you control the aphids, you will also be able to control sooty mold. Be sure to check your plants frequently and deal with any gardenia pests quickly to reduce the damage they cause. I always had trouble with sooty mold on the shaded side of gardenia shrubs in south FLorida. Scot Nelson, CC license via Flickr. What else can I do?” The answer, of course, is to ask Grumpy, your font of gardening wisdom. Control can be obtained by applying insecticides that reduce insect populations. However, this method of prevention is time-consuming. Although sooty mold doesn't penetrate the plant tissues, it can weaken it by blocking sunlight. The mold may cover an entire leaf surface or appear in spots, depending on the severity of the problem. Sooty mold is a black, smut-like substance that grows in the sugary secretion of sucking insects such as aphids, scales, mealybugs, and whiteflies. Sooty mold is commonly seen on the leaves of ornamental plants such as azaleas, gardenias, camellias, crepe myrtles, Mangifera and laurels. The sooty substance is actually called sooty mold, and it is a fungus that is spread by insects. If you have gardenias or crape myrtles, you’ve probably seen it. https://gardenerspath.com/how-to/disease-and-pests/sooty-mold I tried rubbing the black off, but the black remains. It takes around 2-3 weeks for black, sooty mold to appear after infestation by insects. Control sooty mold on plants by stopping it before it starts. Sooty mold forms a gray or black coating on leaves, tender stems or flowers. This fact sheet provides a brief look at this popular plant. The most successful method of preventing mold on a gardenia plant is early intervention. The black stuff on the leaves is a fungus called sooty mold. Sooty Mold Velvet-textured black mold disfiguring you gardenias follows infestations of sap-sucking insects, including aphids, soft scales, mealybugs and whiteflies. Sooty mold thrives on the honeydew created by gardenia bugs like aphids. 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